Debbie came to the group filled with ambition and ready to set the world on fire. To her defense, she was told in the interview that management was looking for someone who could make changes. They were looking for a self starter that could see where improvements could be made and go after them. The downside is, did management fail to notify this little known fact to the rest of the office Admins, or was this interpretation based on an eager new employee looking to earn her stripes with no training or guidance provided? It was a situation that needed more clarification.
Andrea, the person with tenure was a bit flustered when all of a sudden forms were being changed and office manuals updated without prior knowledge, instruction or notification. Andrea wasn’t sure how to handle the situation, since she wasn’t the office authority, or the hiring manager of Debbie. Should she feel threatened, insulted, was Debbie acting on her own? She remembered the mantra from Stephen Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” “Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.”
Andrea knew the state of affairs aren’t always what they seem. She quickly took control of her emotions and put an invite on the calendar to discuss the situation with Debbie. Andrea certainly didn’t want to alienate herself or Debbie in any degree, or let on to others there was contention and therefore a conversation was in order. Andrea needed to get a better understanding of where the instruction or authorization came from that led Debbie to make these changes. Andrea put a strategic plan in place with her agenda on how they might pursue making changes together in the future and sent if off to Debbie.
In the mean time, Andrea researched SOPs looking at design options and applications that easily could be shared with others. Her first thought was MS Word and One Note. The groups both have a network drive and a SharePoint site which make uploading and keeping documents up-to-date and accessible. With Electronic formats, the versions would track any changes and who made them. She laid out her plan in an email saving it as a draft to her supervisors for later. Her discussion with Debbie would determine which direction she aught to take.
Would Andra need to escalate or could she and Debbie find an amicable resolution for making changes in the office? Andrea was excited to learn more about Debbie as well. This probably should have happened sooner than later. Waiting four months to learn about a new person and identify job responsibilities could have been handled better. Albeit, perhaps that would be another conversation and project she and Debbie could work on together.
11 Actions to Resolution:
- Create a safe space
- Build trust
- Seek to understand
- State the problem
- Leave emotion out of the equation
- Take the higher ground
- Create mutually beneficial terms
- Ask for clarification
- Offer feedback
- Sign an agreement
- Share resolution agreements with management
“What ever you can conceive and believe you can achieve” Thomas Willhite, PSI Seminars (Personal Success Institute) Listen to his Lectures and you will be transformed.